Eff is an unlucky thirteenth child - her twin brother, Lan, is a powerful seventh son of a seventh son. And yet, Eff is the one who saved the day for the settlements west of the Great Barrier. Her unique ways of doing magic and seeing the world, and her fascination with the magical creatures and land in the Great Plains push Eff to work toward joining an expedition heading west. But things are changing on the frontier.
There are new professors of magic for Eff and Lan to learn to work with. There's tension between William and his father. And there are new threats on the frontier and at home. To help, Eff must travel beyond the Barrier, and come to terms with her magical abilities - and those of her brother, to stop the newest threat encroaching on the settlers.
With wit, magic, and a touch of good pioneer sense, Patricia C. Wrede weaves a fantastic tale of the very wild west.
Patricia Collins Wrede is an American fantasy writer, born in Chicago, Illinois; she is the eldest of five children. She finished her first book in 1978, working as an accountant and financial analyst in the meantime. In 1980 she was a founding member of The Scribblies who also included Pamela Dean, Emma Bull, Will Shetterly, Steven Brust, and Nate Bucklin. She is a vegetarian and lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with her three cats. She has no children of her own, but has four nieces and four nephews.
Her official webpage.